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The Legend of Holly Claus

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  2,153 ratings  ·  292 reviews

Santa Claus is the King of Forever, Land of the Immortals. When one special boy writes to Santa asking what no other child has ever asked, a miracle occurs: Santa and Mrs. Claus are blessed with a daughter. But the birth of Holly Claus also brings about a terrible curse--from an evil soul named Herrikhan. Holly's heart is frozen, and the gates to Forever are locked, barri

Paperback, 544 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by HarperCollins (first published September 21st 2004)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,153 ratings  ·  292 reviews

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Dec 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
A delightful story with a real Victorian feel, this is the tale of Santa Claus' daughter, Holly. Gifted, kind, intelligent and spunky, Holly has never been able to leave her home before, because she must be cold all the time or her heart will break (literally). But one December she sets out, and finds work in a toyshop with the help of a wolf, some street urchins, and a cloud of magical snow to keep her nicely chilled. A wondrous tale!

Reread 2014: Found out last year that this book is out of pri
I’m a crier. I cry most easily when I’m angry, but I also cry when I’m sad, and when I’m happy, and when my kids are being cute, and when there are freshly baked cookies to be had. I’m the person Brian Andreas had it mind when he wrote, “She said she usually cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful & life was so short.”

The Legend of Holly Claus is a cry book. It made be cry because of its wonder and beauty. Publishers Weekly said it was a “lush
Lauren  Librarian
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read the full review at Lauren the Librarian.

A young boy is encouraged to write to Santa Claus at the beginning of the story by his mother. Ten year old Christopher writes that he has everything he needs in this world, but instead asks the benevolent ruler of The Land of Immortals if there is anything he wants for Christmas. It is in this beautiful spirit of giving that this story takes flight. Unbeknownst to young Christopher, he plays a great role later on in the story.

When Nicholas Claus rece
Cut 200 pages and I think you have a lovely story akin to The Ordinary Princess. The pictures were lovely. But it was too long. It goes on too many tangents. And then it throws in a romance with no development which might have worked with a shorter novel but feels inexcusable with one this long. Similarly, the villain and climax feel rushed when so many pages are spent on orphans and dolls and small animals.
Tighten it up, delightful Christmas story. Keep it as it is and you have a somewhat ramb
Hannah McManus
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: instarecs, favourites
I want to come back and ramble about how beautiful this book is when it's not 2 AM and the words I try to say make sense
Nicole Javvaji
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Spectacular holiday read!
I found this book in a used bookstore and was enchanted by the cover. The illustrations throughout the book are equally mesmerizing, the detailed sketches of Holly and the Land of Immortals really fuel the reader's imagination.
The story is quite long but can definitely hold the reader's attention throughout. Many plot twists and side stories to engage young minds. It has 2 excellent messages about giving love selflessly and inspiring others to dream big and go for it
Todd Strader
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
“Outside, the afternoon grew darker, and the icy rain began to fall. Inside the sound of wailing babies and the sour smell of thin soup wafted through the flimsy walls. Absorbed in the magic of making, Christopher noticed none of it…” - Brittney Ryan, The Legend of Holly Clause.

The title and cover grabbed me first. The language drew me in, like a Dicksonian memory, and the story itself captured me completely. This is a story of Santa’s gift, not one he gives but one he receives, and a curse, one
I really liked the idea of this book, and I think there were some lovely ideas in it. But this book was way too long for absolutely no reason. I understand world building, but to have the main character's actual journey begin at the 47% mark was pretty ridiculous. Holly as a character felt flat and too perfect, making for a mostly uninteresting protagonist. The romantic story was...ugh. Just mechanical and eye-roll worthy. The villain was pretty generic but creepy at times. Because this is a Chr ...more
Dec 05, 2008 added it
Shelves: christmas, stalled
I'm "stalling" on this, probably until next holiday season. While the focus isn't entirely on Christmas, it just seems really passe to keep reading it now especially after my trip to Florida--no continuity with the holidays at all anymore. Also, it seemed to be a bit over-long as is, so hopefully a return to it later will bring renewed enthusiasm. It's such a sweet idea and so nicely written!


I absolutely couldn't resist thi
I utterly adored this book. The style and the story gave me the strongest sense of deja vu. It reminded me so much of the old stop animation holiday movies that I used to watch as a kid. I loved every single word and was sad when it was over. Highly recommended for kids and adults alike. It would be a crime if this book doesn't become a holiday classic considering what passes for "holiday classic" now.
Jan 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas
I would say this is the very dark older sister to the beautiful children's book Holly Claus: The Christmas Princess.

It really adds so much to the story you never knew you were missing. You do miss the magnificent art from the children's book but the descriptions and character development make up for it.
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
I found this book at a garage sale a few years ago and am so glad I did. I have read it three times and will probably read it again. Highly recommend it! This heartwarming tale can be read at any time of year, not just Christmas. I love the whole story, especially the ending. Thank you Brittney Ryan!
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
4.5 stars for this magical christmas read. Set in the victorian era it feels like it's been written then also. Brittney Ryan really takes you to the immortal land where Santa and his family lives surrounded by an array of magical creatures and talking animals of all kinds. The plot is predictable but it has enough twist and turns to make you forget what you already know. I wasn't analysing as much as I was LIVING through Holly for my entire reading time and this is exactly what I hope from a gre ...more
Dana Fraedrich
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
TL;DR: This book is a perfect example of what it’s supposed to be – a Christmas fairytale

Firstly, there are many a book reviewer who would rate this book poorly for reasons I will discuss further down. Excepting technical aspects like spelling and grammar (I know this should be a given, but I live in both the self-published and traditionally published world), I tend to judge books based on what they’re meant to be, not an across-the-board system. I’m not going to judge The Legend of Holly Claus
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did want to like this. I’ve seen the picture book, and the illustrations are gorgeous. But it really seems it’s best suited for children. Attempting to rewrite it for YA just accentuated the simple storyline. Holly is considered generous because she creates dolls using magic she didn’t earn and materials she didn’t pay for in any way. It’s easy to seem generous when it’s no skin off your back, I suppose. The climax was too simple even for a YA book. Maybe I would have enjoyed this when I was 1 ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute story. Loved the illustrations. The ending could’ve used a bit more umph as the solution was a bit simplified but overall a good Christmas story that reads like classic children’s literature.
How does everyone not know this story! Well that was just a joy to read!
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Christopher is a little boy who lives with his mother. They have come on hard times and don't have much, still, all this little boy asks Santa for for Christmas is, what would Santa like to receive. So begins a beautiful, magical story, about all that Santa and his wife ever wanted, a child they named Holly.

Holly's birth brings about a lot of change, to her home, The Land of Immortals. That change comes in the form of Herrikhan. An evil warlock who was cursed and imprisoned centuries ago, he di
Elizabeth Invergo
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Plot: It was a good story-line, and creatively thought of. While it had a fantasy effect, there was something more to it that inspires the reader. The reader has the advantage of being with the main character every moment of her every day, and this makes the reader feel as if they were facing her obstacles themselves. Some points in the story were predictable, but in other ways you have no idea what will happen, and it leaves you gripping your chair.
To say it all, this plot was very well-writte
Nov 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves Christmas
With Christmas coming closer and closer, I figured I would do a few holiday book reviews to get people into the season. I love reading holiday books doing the month of December and one of my favs to read with my kids is the Legend of Holly Claus. It is a very cute story from the heart of a little boy who asks Santa what he wants for Christmas.

Born to the Clauses is their little girl, Holly, who becomes cursed with a heart surrounded by ice and forced to live her life very alone. With her friend
Deedi Brown (DeediReads)
This book is one of the greatest dark horses of my life. My mother bought it for me many years ago, and I have re-read it several times since then. I also lend it to friends whenever I can, and they always love it as well. It's Christmas magic meets Anastasia meets The Little Mermaid (just bear with me here).

Holly Claus is the daughter of Santa and Mrs. Claus, made possible by the magic that is created when a young boy asks Santa what he'd like for Christmas instead of providing a traditional Ch
Ella Rose Brunton
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to write a plot summery of what this book was about, but found that I couldn't without giving away something I believe should be discovered by yourself. This is my favourite book. I loved it when I first read it, and have every single time I've read it. It's simply beautiful. I love the illustrations, I love the characters and I feel that it has a depth to it that it is enjoyable by children and adults. I love the character of Holly, who has such a beautiful soul. She changed the lives ...more
I admit I was very intrigued by the plot line but, unfortunately, I was disappointed by the execution.

The book is written as if it was cut and pasted too much. Most of it felt disjointed and did not flow, while at other times it flowed quite smoothly. I believe there were so many back stories within the larger story that it became challenging knowing when to insert them. The result was often discontinuous and I had a hard time staying focused on the larger plot of the story. It was kind of like
Dec 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
I think this book might have been too young for me. I found it ridiculous. A curse is placed upon the land of Forever; no one can go in or out, except, for some reason, Santa, who can come and go just has he has always done? That's a little convenient. It would have been cooler if he too was trapped, and THAT's why so many people stopped believing in him. or something. And WHY did Christopher have a laptop that could see the future? Did it ever explain that?

But the whole book was like that. One
David J.
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Constructive Imagining

The story's felicity of language adds to the pleasure of reading.
Each character provides incentive for family discussion,
encouraging further exploration of history and mythology.

Vivid characterization supports remembrance of classical names
and natures for minds that appreciate education.
(Suggestion: Peruse the character list or glossary first.)

While framed in fantasy, the story depicts practical scenarios
that illustrate such constructive values as mutual helpfulness
and the
Dec 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: standalones
This one is disappointing not only because it was book I had enjoyed before but also because it was the last novel I will read this year. I wanted to read this one for Christmas, and it definitely delivers on the Christmas image. It's a very pure and simple story, but that's where the problem was. The characters were all so one dimensional and naive that they were just irritating. The romance was formed way too quickly. There was also a lot of filler that further frustrated me because this book ...more
May 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-my-shelves
When I first saw this book in the store I was drawn to the beautiful artwork on the cover. Then, upon flipping the book over to look at the back, just under another gorgeous picture, in gold letters, were the words "A Julie Andrews collection." With just enough in my bank account to cover the book I headed to the checkout and have not regretted for a moment the raman I ate that week while poring over this book multiple times. This is an instant Christmas classic and every Christmas it's my #1 re ...more
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: timeless-faves
I have had this book for years, purchasing it when it was first published years ago (2006? I think...) Every Christmas I pull it off my shelf from where it sits next to the Chronicles of Narnia and the entire JRR Tolkien collection, and read it. It is as beloved to me as the aforementioned series. Not only is the cover utterly gorgeous, but the story is so lovely and magical, written in a way that speaks of the classics. I've bought the book for all the children in my family and recommend it to ...more
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I actually read this book when I was much younger, so this review is written through the lens of someone barely out of elementary school. The book was enrapturing and the world was immersive. In Holly I didn't see myself, but rather someone I wanted to be. It was the perfect story and the perfect theme for a Christmas story, and I couldn't have been happier than I was curled up in a chair reading that book around Christmastime. I think it definitely warrants a reread after years of neglect, but ...more
Cynthia Egbert
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-and-read
"Deserve. That's what I don't understand about humans. This deserving idea. If it's love, you don't have to deserve it." I love this quote from the book and I love this book. I am very grateful to my friend Karma for lending it to me. I am a sucker for fairy tales and this one is well written, nicely illustrated and the themes of the story really speak to my heart. I recommend this very highly, especially for a read aloud at Christmas time for families with children.
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Brittney Ryan is an American author who was born in Portland, Oregon. She attended the University of Portland’s School of Dramatic Arts and Music. Since then, she has performed in musicals and has worked as a composer, producer, and television commentator. However, Ryan is best known as a storyteller and the New York Times bestselling author of The Legend of Holly Claus, a magical Christmas fantas ...more

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